Just after Sen. Richard Gordon released the news that several Chinese citizens brought in over $160 million in cash into the country between December 2019 and February this year, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have also identified many groups of passenger-couriers transporting foreign currencies into the country. Gordon, being the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, therefore, advised probers to look into “how the Executive branch is implementing the law, particularly on the compliance of casinos, Pagcor, banks, among other covered institutions in reporting suspicious transactions”. The BOC said it is currently working with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), and other intelligence and law-enforcement agencies in dealing with the identified cases of large sum of foreign currencies brought into the country. So far, the BOC already got information on the influx of passengers transporting the large quantities of different currencies into the country.
BOC Assistant commissioner and Spokesman Vincent Philip C. stated that according to existing laws, amounts exceeding $10,000 are only allowed into the country if they are declared and that they are already looking into the matter, he has refused to reveal information about the nationalities of those identified but those observed in the past are Asians. Many of these suspects claim that they have come to invest the money while some others said they are tourists coming for shopping. In the meantime, the BOC is working with AMLC, as well as the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency; and the groups plan to propose an interagency task force to address the issue.